5 Things You Must Do When Implementing ITIL

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Posted on Monday, 12th June, 2017 - 09:10

It’s one thing to improve ITIL implementation in your company. Introducing it in the first place is a whole different task. You have work ITIL into the organization’s existing culture. After that, you have the lay the groundwork for continual improvement. Here are five things to consider when first implementing ITIL.

  1. Get support from everyone

Organizational support for ITIL will be much easier if you start early. Get senior level buy-in, but also train a core group of people in ITIL. It’s important to preach the value of ITIL, so the organization is not only prepared, but also excited about it.

Our blog on Disney’s ITIL journey can give you some great ideas. One big takeaway from Disney’s adoption is how ITIL was marketed to the company. This included manager meetings, which made executives aware of the company’s issues and how ITIL could help. ITIL was also promoted on “BackLot”, the company’s internal social network. Use your organization’s most popular platforms to help your ITIL pitch.

  1. Adapt the ITIL framework

Don’t worry too much about going “full ITIL”. It helps to think of ITIL as a framework, not a set of instructions. Prioritize what your organization needs to improve the most and work from there. ITIL can, and should be, adapted.

Before implementing any part of ITIL, ask the following questions:

  1. Are we already doing this, or a similar process?
  2. Would this disrupt our work, and to what extent?
  3. What will this process actually achieve for us or our customer?


  1. Keep the organization involved

Keep the organization involved throughout the entire process. It’s not enough to get buy-in from the rest of the organization and then forget about them. They have their own unique insight and can help inform the ITIL goals and objectives.

With the whole organization involved, they can contribute to the continual service improvements. Record their ideas in the CSI Register. The longer your organization runs ITIL, the more benefits you and the rest of the organization will see.

  1. Implement one process at a time

Many organizations jump into ITIL too quickly. This is often an unintended consequence of achieving ITIL buy-in. It’s good to get the organization excited about ITIL, but the implementation should be staggered. This will maximize the impact of each ITIL process and make it easier for the organization to adapt.

For an idea of where to start, see our blog on implementing ITIL in parts. When choosing the first processes, it’s a good idea to look for ones which offer quick wins. This will help win support from the organization and kickstart wider ITIL adoption.

  1. Break the silos

Done correctly, ITIL can break down organizational barriers. When studying the ITIL books, you’ll come across the terms “functions” and “processes”. Function describes the role, and process describes the activity. For example, software developers and service desk operators are different functions, but they’re often both involved in the process of incident management.

Remember to align ITIL with processes, not functions. This keeps the organization from forming silos. Instead, involve the whole organization with ITIL. That means speaking the same language and having a shared sense of purpose.